From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
Justice Emmanuel Ayoola of a Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State, will on Wednesday January 26 rule on the jurisdiction to hear suit filed by 2,517 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in 26 local governments of the state to challenge the Ward Congress of the party, held on July 31, 2021.
The adjournment was also to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) file its objection as respondent in the suit.
Other respondents in the case are the National Secretariat of the APC, Chairman of Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee of the APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni, Chairman of the Ward Congress Committee, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, Chairman of Ward Congress Appeal Committee in the state, Amb. Obed Wadzani.
Lead counsel of the 1st and 2nd respondents, Dr. Mubaraq Adekilekun, had challenged the jurisdiction of the court in a preliminary objection on several grounds, saying the matter is an internal party affairs and Buni who is a sitting governor that still enjoys immunity can not be sued.
Adekilekun said the applicants can not be represented in proxy as they claimed they are 2,517.
But, the lead counsel to the aggrieved APC members, Mahmud Adesina SAN, argued that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the case because it has to do with noncompliance with the guidelines on the ward congress of the party.
The counsel maintained that the aggrieved members were denied their rights having fulfilled their financial obligations to the party.
Justice Ayoola thereby adjourned the case to Wednesday, January 26, 2022, for hearing of INEC objection and ruling on jurisdiction.